Saturday, July 22, 2006

Jihad in the classroom

For centuries, the Islamic world has practised and preached killing of non-Muslims, as entire civilizations such as the Christian civilization that once existed in Lebanon, the Buddhist civilization that once existed in today's Afghanistan, the Hindu civilization that once existed in today's Pakistan, the Persian civilization in today's Iran have been wiped out. Even today, as we speak, ongoing religious persecution and genocide of Hindu religious minorities is going on in Bangladesh which once had a Hindu civilization. In the last three decades, the Hindu population of Bangladesh has shrunk from 28% in the 1970's to 12% today, as Hindu girls continue to be abducted, raped, tortured, and forcibly converted to Islam, and their Hindu families terrorized into silence. Murders of Hindu men is ignored by the Bangladeshi police and judicial authorities, and occurs with increasing intensity. Hindu families are forced into penury as their property is forcibly occupied by Muslims.

While the world watches silently, the 5000 year old Hindu civilization of Bangladesh is pushed forward on the final steps to complete annihilation using unforgivable Crimes against Humanity.

Why has this happened ?

For the same reason the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States happened.

For centuries, the Islamic Holy Book, the Holy Koran has openly and explicitly called for killing and torture of non-Muslim men, and the forcible conversion of non-Muslim women into Islam. Here is a collection of verses from the Holy Kuran that explicitly call for torture and killing and violence as mentioned above.

In Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Libya, Iran, Pakistan and Bangladesh, this religious pogrom, called "Jihad" in Arabic, is not only taught by Islmaic priests in the mosques, but also by teaches in class-rooms in schools.

This kind of religious violence is apparently considered quite normal and acceptable by a majority of decision-makers of these Islamic societies, as evidenced by the popular support for extremist statements from Islamic leaders. A very recent example is the statement repeatedly made by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the popularly elected President of Iran, calling explicitly for the destruction of Israel, simply because its inhabitants have committed the grievous error of following the Jewish faith, because of which the Koran says they have no right to live. Iran is developing nuclear weapon and delivery systems, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has explicitly said that "Israel should be wiped off the map".

The treat is very real. What has happened to non-Muslims in Persia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh can happen to any non-Muslim on this planet; indeed it can happen to any secular moderate and liberal Muslim who dares to speak against this Islamic totalitarian ideology, like Salman Rushdie, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Taslima Nasreen, etc.

The United States had ignored these medieval and uncivilized acts of religious terror for the last three decades, while the victims of Islamic terror had been countries like India, or the poor Hindus of Bangladesh or Kashmir.

After 9/11, the United States has begun to realize that nobody on this planet is safe from Islamic terror. It has begun to take tentative steps to fight this totalitarian religious ideology, this dangerous enemy of civilized modern secular and tolerant society. But there is still a very long way to go.

CNN reports:
Saudi Arabia promises to revise textbooks
Change is one of several planned steps involving religious freedom

From Elise Labott, CNN State Department Producer
Thursday, July 20, 2006; Posted: 12:02 p.m. EDT (16:02 GMT)

Washington (CNN) -- Saudi Arabia has promised a comprehensive review of all of its educational textbooks and to remove all language promoting intolerance, the State Department's ambassador for religious freedom said Wednesday.

Ambassador John Hanford said Saudi Arabia is already making sincere progress in cleansing its textbooks from bigoted references and added "the Saudis agreed the language is inexcusable."

"We are very pleased with the reforms that King Abdullah and his government have been making," Hanford said.

However, there were still some "repugnant references" in the textbooks targeted at both non-Muslims and Muslims who don't follow the Saudi version of Islam, called Wahabism, he said.

Hanford's comments followed a briefing for members of Congress on a list of policies the Saudis agreed to implement in the area of religious freedom.

The new policies came after weeks of meetings between Hanford's team and senior Saudi officials to address Riyadh's designation of a "country of particular concern" in the last State Department report on religious freedom.

The State Department's last report grading religious freedom around the world said "freedom of religion does not exist" in Saudi Arabia. Because Islam is the official religion of the country, all citizens must be Muslim, the report said.

As a country of particular concern, Saudi Arabia is subject to U.S. trade sanctions. But the sanctions were waived in order to give Hanford and his team the diplomatic space to address the issues directly with the Saudis, and Hanford said the trade sanctions would continue to be withheld.

A senior administration official who expanded on the agreement would only speak on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

As part of the deal, the Saudis promised to ban the use of government funds for textbooks, retrain educators and imams who espouse intolerance and incorporate education on human rights into the school curricula, the senior official said.

The Saudis also said they would protect the right to private worship for all, including non-Muslims, and impose new landmark regulations on the country's religious police to ensure religious worshipers are not harassed.

Saudi leaders also agreed to empower the newly-created Human Rights Commission to investigate and report all violations of human rights in the country and help the country improve its human rights practices.

Saudi Arabia said it had expunged all intolerant language from its textbooks. But a recent review of Saudi texts for the current academic year by the group Freedom House revealed, despite Saudi statements to the contrary, an ideology of hatred toward Christians, Jews and Muslims who do not follow the Wahabi version of Islam.

But the senior administration official said intolerant language had been removed from textbooks used in the United States and the textbooks studied in the Freedom House report were used in Saudi Arabia.

Hanford said the Saudis plan to have a comprehensive review of all educational materials to be completed within one to two years.



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